With the unfortunate morning training death of pre-race favorite Dance With Fate, Kentucky shipper Frac Daddy, a two-time stakes winner in 2014, is now the likely choice in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (gr. II) July 26 at Del Mar.
The San Diego, the major prep locally for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 24, will be contested at 1 1/16 miles over the Polytrack. A field of 10, including other recent graded winners Imperative and Summer Hit now headline the San Diego, the eighth on a 10-race card Saturday tentatively set for 5:30 p.m. PDT.
Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) winner Dance With Fate bolted and crashed into a fence while on the track July 24, and was later euthanized with serious ligament damage to his right rear leg.
Frac Daddy, from the barn of trainer Ken McPeek, seeks his third stakes success of the year. The 4-year-old won both the Ben Ali (gr. III) at Keeneland last April by 4 3/4 lengths and the Eclipse (Can-II) by five at Woodbine June 1.
Both victories were accomplished over Polytrack, the same main-track surface as Del Mar.
Frac Daddy suffered his first loss in four synthetic track races when second at 3-20 odds in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day Stakes (Can-III) July 1 at Woodbine.
A five-time winner with six seconds from 17 lifetime starts and earnings of $674,036, the Magic City Thoroughbred Partners' son of Scat Daddy showed a liking for the Del Mar surface with a five-furlong drill in :59 4/5 July 21. Joe Talamo has the call on the 121-pound highweight from gate 3.
Impressive winner of the rich Charles Town Classic (gr. II) at odds of 26-1 over Game On Dude April 19, Imperative came back to earth in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (gr. I) last out, finishing a distant third. George Papaprodromou trains the 4-year-old Bernardini gelding for KM Racing Enterprise. Kent Desormeaux is the regular rider.
Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer sends California-bred Summer Hit, winner of the Berkeley Handicap and All-American Stakes (both gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields. Summer Hit was most recently third in the Oak Tree Stakes at the Pleasanton fair meet June 21. Rafael Bejarano picks up the mount on the 5-year-old Bertrando gelding.
The San Diego also marks the return of Kaleem Shah's Fed Biz, who has not raced since finishing a disappointing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) Nov. 1. The 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway is 2-for-2 over the Del Mar main track, winning the seven-furlong Pat O'Brien Stakes (gr. II) before the Breeders' Cup for Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert. Martin Garcia retains the mount from the far outside post.
Handsome Mike, closing in on $1 million in career earnings for Reddam Racing and trainer Doug O'Neill, shows up here after being withdrawn from the Del Mar Paddock Sale the night of July 20. The 5-year-old son of Scat Daddy comes off a second to Sky Kingdom in the American Flag Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course July 4.
The supporting feature on a 10-race program Saturday is the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for California-bred 3-year-old fillies. Pre-race favorite in the seven-furlong sprint is Sunday Rules, flawless in three starts including the Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar in 2013. Mike Smith has the mount.
Del Mar, Saturday, July 26, 2014, Race 8
- 1 1/16m
- All Weather Track
- 3 yo's & up
- 5:42 PM (local)
|1||Battier (FL)||Victor Espinoza||113||Michael W. McCarthy|
|2||Imperative (KY)||Kent J. Desormeaux||119||George Papaprodromou|
|3||Frac Daddy (KY)||Joseph Talamo||121||Kenneth G. McPeek|
|4||Soi Phet (CA)||Mike E. Smith||117||Leonard Powell|
|5||You Know I Know (KY)||Edwin A. Maldonado||114||John W. Sadler|
|6||Dance With Fate (FL)||SCRATCHED||0||UNKNOWN|
|7||Honduran (KY)||Drayden Van Dyke||112||Vladimir Cerin|
|8||Summer Hit (CA)||Rafael Bejarano||118||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|9||Handsome Mike (KY)||Mario Gutierrez||116||Doug F. O'Neill|
|10||Footbridge (KY)||Tyler Baze||116||Eoin G. Harty|
|11||Fed Biz (KY)||Martin Garcia||119||Bob Baffert|